Sequel to 'Artesia' epic, 'Artesia Afire,' coming in June, 2003

Official Press Release

Fort Lee, NJ - April 8, 2003 - Archaia Studios Press (ASP) is pleased to announce that Artesia is back! Artesia Afire - the third chapter in the story of the warrior-queen of Dara Dess - ships its first issue in June 2003 (Archaia Studios Press, Artesia Afire #1 (of 6), June 2003, $3.95, 32 pages).

Written and painted by Mark Smylie, Artesia is a comic book rich in fantasy, mysticism, and mythology, an epic and strange tale of war and magic set in the strife-riven realms of the Known World and presented in lavish, fully painted watercolors. For his work on Artesia, Smylie has been nominated for an Eisner Award (Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition) and Artesia itself has earned rave reviews.

Sequential Tart, which selected Artesia as one of its Read This or Die books, has said: "Take the best elements of Tolkien and LeGuin and Bradley; stir well; throw out the dross; add a complex cosmology, stunning artwork and a ruthless and beautiful heroine, and you have Artesia.... A grand fantasy of the sort rarely seen in prose works, let alone comics." (Sequential Tart, www.sequentialtart.com, July 2000.)

Smylie is thrilled to continue the epic saga of the warrior-priestess under the ASP banner. "Artesia is a labor of love and I've been anxious to see the book back in the marketplace," Smylie said, "but I didn't want to release the beginnings of a new series until I was sure I could handle self-publishing. The first three issues of Afire are in the can and the fourth is already under way, so I should be able to make my goal of publishing the whole of this series by the end of the year. The book's readers have been very supportive and patient as I developed this latest story, and I really appreciate it; I'm hopeful they'll enjoy this next installment of Artesia's Book of Dooms."

To coincide with the release of the new series, ASP will also re-release the first Artesia trade paperback collection in June (Archaia Studios Press, Artesia, June 2003, $24.95, ISBN: 1-932386-00-9, 192 pages). This new edition will feature a brand new cover by Smylie. And Artesia Afield, the second Artesia series never before collected in one edition, will be released as a trade paperback collection the following month (Archaia Studios Press, Artesia Afield, July 2003, $24.95, ISBN: 1-932386-02-5, 192 pages), shipping the same month as the second issue of Artesia Afire.

The Artesia and Artesia Afield trade paperbacks and Artesia Afire will be available at finer bookstores and comic book shops everywhere. All three series contain graphic violence, nudity, and some strong sexual content, and are for Mature Readers only.

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